a MMB! Kendo Blog: December 2006

MMB! Kendo Blog

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Kendo Training in Taipei

The Australian Team had two afternoon kendo training session at a local community centre in the past two days.

I felt okay after the first training session if a bit puffed-out. Hayami, the ladies team captain, told me that I may have been too tense. So maybe I should try relaxing a little in today's training.

And I did, I actually enjoy the training today, and I was fired up in the last two shiai-keiko. Yeah, I am really ready to rock and roll on the big day.

Last night, some of the Australian Team went to Shi Lin Night Market - the oldest and largest night market in Taipei. The place is absolutely a shopping heaven. Everything, from food to clothing apparels, is so cheap. Hayami also got her foot massage there too.

On the way to the Night Market, the taxi went pass the C.K.S. Memorial Hall and the Grand Hotel. I gotta tell you, those two places look really awesome. The grandeur exudes from the architecture just instantly captures all your attention.

This morning after the morning exercise and breakfast sessions with the team, I had a bit of free time. So I went to the competition venue - the Taipei University Sports Centre, and watched the shinpan seminar there. While I was watching, Shinzato Chikano - Nittaidai ladies assistant coach came over to me. I was so happy to see her again. She was there as a shiai-sha for the shinpan seminar. Apparently, each shiai-sha there has to take turn to play 6 shiai for the shinpan seminar. I saw one of Shinzato's match and she won it by a beautiful debana-kote during encho.

Team photo at the first training in Taipei

The boy band - Lead singer: Brett. Other members: Yuji, Ka-bi, Stuart (The Australian Team was actually doing morning exercise. But it was raining today, and so the guys did the stretching exercise underneath the fighter jet, which was in the same area we do our morning exercise)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Oouch, but I am flying now

Today, we went to see the competition venue in the morning. And then from then on, it was free time.

Stuart, Hayami, Claire, Chiaki and myself went for window-shopping around the area for a few hours, eating our way through the local streets and alleys.

For most of the afternoon, I just lazied around in my hotel room, received a good massage from Chiaki, and gave one massage to Hayami. So everyone was happy.

Then at night, Stuart, Ka-bi, Hayami, Kate, Claire, Chiaki and myself went to the Night Market for a stroll. Again, we ate our way through the Night Market. I tell you, Taipei is all about eating, eating and more eating!

Ka-bi and I were thinking about getting the famous Taiwanese foot massage. So we went to one shop in the Night Market and had a 40mins foot massage. Claire and Stuart also joined later on.

The foot massage was slightly painful at the beginning, but slowly it was quite enjoyable. All the soreness went away after the foot massage. Now I can fly!

Oh, I gotta mention about the scooters here. There are so many scooters on the street it is like a swarm of bees flying. And gosh, I would never want to drive in Taipei. It is like the scene you see in a war game with war planes swarming all around you. Man, it is crazy here!

Taipei local snacks - pork buns

Kate and Claire at the Night Market

Ka-bi with his yummy animal-shaped waffles

Ka-bi enjoying his foot massage

Me and Ka-bi along with Claire and Stuart at the foot massage place in the Night Market

Monday, December 04, 2006

忍耐 + 掌握人生
Landed in Taipei

I am finally here - in Taipei.

The Australian Team have been very well looked after by Ron Bennett's friend - Beatrice and her relatives. Today, we went to visit Longshan Temple, the oldest temple in Taipei, in the morning. Then in the afternoon, we went to the Taipei city centre for a little walk-around in the shopping district. At night, the team went to Beatrice's home for a real massive dinner.

Well, a picture worths a thousand words. So to save me from typing zillion words, here begins the photo adventure... Enjoy.

Ka-bi in his meditation mode at the Singapore Airport lounge waiting for our connection flight to Taipei.

At Longshan Temple - the oldest and biggest temple in Taipei

Ka-bi and me praying to the Gods

Crispy fried fish noodle soup for lunch

Do Not Disturb!

Me and Chiaki eating the best cheesecake in Taipei

Taipei 101

Our Taiwanese friends invited us for a massive home-cook welcoming dinner

The Australian Team and the friendly Taiwanese family at their home

Friday, December 01, 2006

忍耐 + 掌握人生
The New Beginning

This is my last day in Sydney in 2006. Tomorrow I will fly with the Australian Kendo Team to Taipei for the biggest tournament in my life.

It will be my first time to go to Taipei. More importantly, it will be my first time to represent my country in the World Kendo Championships. I look forward to wearing my Australian blazer proudly in front of all the different international delegations. And I am very much looking forward to bringing on the best kendo performance and display it on the shiai floor.

Bring it on! The show begins!

Yesterday I had my last keiko with Nurlin in Sydney before she returns to her homeland.
Photo taken by Thao Hoang

And, also last keiko with Yoshiki before he returns to Japan.
Photo taken by Thao Hoang

Last weekend's 2006 NSW Championships
(I am on the left against Elaine Chan)
Photo taken by David Banbury